John,Some people, including the mentally ill, do have multiple inconsistent 
belief systems, but to me that makes it clear that at least one of their 
beliefs must be wrong - even in the absence of other information. You're much 
kinder to alternative beliefs than I am, but in reality, you *must* think that 
some beliefs are wrong, otherwise you would hold those beliefs! For example, if 
you say you don't personally believe the earth was created in six days, but 
respect the right of others to believe that it was, what you're really saying 
is that you respect the right of others to have a false belief. I have no 
dispute with that, as long as it is acknowledged.Stathis PapaioannouFrom: 
[EMAIL PROTECTED]: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of LifeDate: Tue, 6 Feb 
2007 11:07:52 -0500

no question about that. What I was trying to stress was 
the futility of arguing from one belief system (and stressing its solely 
expanded "truth") against a different "truth and evidence" carrying OTHER 
BTW: don't schyzophrenics (maybe multiple personalitics) 
accept (alternately) ALL the belief systems they carry? (=layman asking the 
IMO we all (i.e. thinking people) are schizophrenix with 
our rather elastic ways of intelligence. Beatus ille qui est 
"onetrackminded"..(the 9th beatitude). 
To your initial sentence: do you believe (in YOUR criteria 
of your beliefs) that TWO people may have absolutely identical beliefs? I am 
almost certain that as your immune system, DNA, fingerprint and the other 
zillion characteristics are not identical to those of other animals, the mental 
makeup is similarly unique. 
We are not zombies of a mechanically computerized 
machine-identity (Oops, no reference to Loeb). Duo si faciunt (cogitant?) 
idem, non est idem. 
John M

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  Stathis Papaioannou 
  Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 9:38 
  Subject: RE: The Meaning of Life
  John,You shouldn't have one criterion for your own 
  beliefs and a different criterion for everyone else's. If Christians said, 
  "those old Greeks sang songs about their gods' miraculous exploits, really 
  seemed to believe in them, and on top of that were pretty smart, so I guess 
  everything in the Iliad and Odyssey must be true", then they would be 
  consistently applying the standards they apply to the Bible. Of course, they 
  don't: other peoples' religious beliefs are subjected to rational scrutiny 
  (rightly) found wanting, but their own beliefs are special. Stathis 
    Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 09:17:57 -0500From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]: 
    [EMAIL PROTECTED]: Re: The Meaning of 
    LifeStathis:is it not a misplaced effort to argue from one 
    set of belief system ONLY with a person who carries two (or even more)? 
    I had a brother-in-law, a devout catholic and an 
    excellent biochemist and when I asked him how can he adjust the two 
    in one mind, he answered:"I never mix the two together". Tom is an 
    excellent natural scientist and has brilliant arguments in it, as long 
    as it comes to his 'other' belief system - what he, quite inderstandably 
    - does not want to give up. We all have 'second belief bases' in our 
    multiple schizophrenia of intelligence. Some have 'Platonia', some 
    'primitive matter view' - it is your profession. Do you really think you 
    can penetrate one by arguments from another?John M
    On 2/5/07, Stathis Papaioannou < [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
    > wrote:
      Tom Caylor writes: > On Jan 31, 10:33 am, Brent 
      Meeker <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> 
      wrote:> > OK. But in that case your question is just half of the 
      question, "Why do people have values?" If you have values then that mean 
      some things will be good and some will be bad - a weed is just a flower 
      a place you don't want it. You must already know the obvious answer to 
      this given by Darwin. And it doesn't even take a person; even amoebas 
      values. I suspect you have a set answer in mind and you're looking for 
      question to elicit it.> >> > Brent Meeker> 
      >> Also Stathis wrote:> > Sure, logic and science are 
      silent on the question of the value of weeds or anything else. You need a 
      person to come along and say "let x=good", and then you can reason 
      logically given this. Evolutionary theory etc. may predict what x a 
      may deem to be good or beautiful, but this is not binding on an 
      in the way laws governing the chemistry of respiration, for example, are 
      binding. Unlike some scientific types, I am quite comfortable with ethics 
      being in this sense outside the scope of science. Unlike some religious 
      types, I am quite comfortable without looking for an ultimate source of 
      ethics in the form of a deity. Even if this conclusion made me very 
      unhappy, that might be reason to try self-deception, but it has no 
      on the truth.> >> > Stathis Papaioannou> 
      >> > Brent and Stathis exemplify two possible answers to 
      meaning. Brent> reduces meaning to something based on mere 
      existence or survival. Thus > amoebas can have such 
      meaning.> Stathis says that meaning is an unanswered 
      (unanswerable?) mystery.> We just somehow self-generate 
      meaning.> > My introduction of the "Meaning Of Life" thread 
      asked if the > Everything perspective could provide any answers to 
      this question.> Looking at the contributions since then, it looks 
      like the answer is> apparently not. This is what I expected. Thus, 
      meaning is either > limited to trivial (non-normative) values or is 
      without basis (the> Noble Lie). If you really read the modern 
      philosophers seriously this> is their conclusion. Of course there 
      is a third possible answer to > this question: Meaning is based on 
      a source outside of ourselves, by> "making connections with others 
      based on such ideals as honour and> obligation" (a quote I read 
      from Dr. Laura Schlesinger off of a > Starbucks coffee cup this 
      morning!) Of course people can poo-poo such> ideals as simply 
      "sentiments", debunking them on a surface level> (which is the only 
      level there is without them), just as C.S. Lewis> pointed out in 
      his lectures on "The Abolition of Man". And indeed,> without such 
      ideals, man will be discretized into a trivial skeleton> of his 
      true self.> > TomYou seem to keep arguing that it 
      wouldn't be very nice if there were no ultimate meaning. Is there any 
      actual evidence that this alleged meaning exists? For 
      example, suppose a society believes that the Sky God provides 
      ultimate meaning and live their lives happily, whereas it could be shown 
      that they would all be miserable and kill each other if they believed it 
      were not true. On this basis there may be reason to think that belief in 
      the Sky God is useful, but is there any reason to think that belief 
      in the Sky God is true? Stathis Papaioannou
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